If you live in Lagos, the Ikeja along area will not be strange to you especially for those who have businesses around the domestic airport, Ikeja Local government headquarters, the popular computer village, Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) and other establishments or if you are simply connecting to various parts of the state.
For a few years now, the stretch of Abeokuta expressway and the adjourning Agege Motor Road or the Old Abeokuta Road have seen constant improvements and reconstructions. The constant civil works have led to perennial traffic snarl which undoubtedly caused untold hardship to those who ply the roads.
Travellers missed flights, appointments rescheduled or cancelled, accidents happened, deaths recorded, folks drove against traffic and the Okada menace became a habit.
This was until Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu decided to take the bull by the horn to solve the traffic gridlock endemic in the area once and for all.
Apart from the celebrated red line – a metro train service, there is also the BRT system that was introduced to ease the suffering of the masses on the corridor.
As part of the railway modernisation plan in the state, it became incumbent that the Red Line which runs parallel to the earlier mentioned highways is not inhibited by human or vehicular obstruction when the service fully takes off this year. Already, iconic train stations have either been completed or nearing completion, rolling stocks have been acquired and retrofitted, the rail tracks are already laid.
It is with this in mind that a dual overpass or what we call flyover was constructed at Ikeja along. The dual flyover takes traffic from the Oshodi end of the Agege motor road (around the domestic airport area over what used to be Ikeja along bus stop towards Agege and Alimoso areas.
On top the bridge overlooking the airport is another bridge that takes traffic above the Lagos and federal railways into the popular Ikeja bus stop (under bridge) on Obafemi Awolowo Way beside the Ikeja local government secretariat. This bridge takes you directly to the Computer Village, a multi billion Naira technology market.
On the reverse side, coming from Ikeja under bridge along the Obafemi Awolowo Way area, there is no longer the level crossing at Anifowoshe. What you now do is to ascend the new Sanwo-Olu bridge to connect to the Agege motor road. The bridge rises in front of the computer village near Simbiat Abiola Way, meets the bridge coming from the airport area and both descends to the right on Agege motor road in front of the old level crossing.
This T-shaped picturesque smart design and construction has redirected traffic in a seamless manner. This is good thinking which has also modernized the entire area thereby improving aesthetics, solving traffic congestion and inviting tourists.
Last 19th December, Governor Sanwo-Olu, in company with the Chairman of Nigeria Governors Forum, who is also the Kwara State governor, AbdulRahman AbdulRasak opened the bridges and improved roads around them for use by the public.
The Ikeja bridge is the fourth to be commissioned by the governor in a little over two months. The bridges are part of the red line overpass efforts to reduce human contact along the Agbado-Oyingbo red line rail corridor.
At the commissioning, Sanwo-Olu tasked motorists to desist from turning the new bridge to their parking station, while AbdulRasak commended the state government for its consistency in delivering projects that improve the lives of residents.
On her part, the Managing Director of (LAMATA) Abimbola Akinajo said the bridge was an essential part of the five over-passes along the red rail line apportioned to Lagos for construction and it is expected to improve mobility in Lagos and aid the economy.
The improvement of commuting in the area is palpable. Commuters are over the moon – as a result, have commended the state government and hopes that the train service component comes on stream as scheduled to complete a stunning metro system that will redefine public transportation in the state. Especially coming soon after the successful Blue Line on the CMS, Mile 2 corridor.
A lot more of the revolutionary developments are in the making in Sanwo-Olu’s Lagos.